Curse of Magic by K. M. Shea
This story follows Angelique as she travels across the land, desperate to find her missing master Evariste. She is hindered in her objective by requests to help the well-beloved fairy tale princes and princesses across the land. Shea does a good job of weaving the well-known stories into one cohesive, political continent with references to other rules across the land. (Even without reading the Timeless Fairy Tales series, I was able to follow along and only skimmed through my least favorite characters.)
She continues to think her core war magic will unleash death and destruction if she sets it free, although Angelique definitely matures in this sequel and slowly begins to use her magic (despite still fearing it).
My biggest upset with this storyline is that Shea broke the cardinal rule of booktelling - I expected some sort of resolution, and instead ended up with the same cliffhanger as the first novel. Only this time I did not have a new book to immediately jump into.
Angelique stays in the background for each “fairy tale” she encounters - as she should, since these are not her stories. However, she keeps her “nice enchantress-in-training” facade on, even when she doesn’t feel like it, and only uses her strong magic as a last resort. There are a few gratifying moments when we see her give in to her power, but overall this reads like a pleasant companion novel to Shea’s other series.
The standout magical star is Pegasus - bumping the Magic rating up a 1/2 star to 4/5! Because who doesn’t love a loyal, magical, companion steed?! (If only Angelique turned into a moon princess next, my heart would be set <3)